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The Man in the Black Suit Close Reading Essay

In passage number one King gives us a clear image of what the main character sees as the devil. Everyone has their own idea of what the devil looks like. Some think he is red wit horns, ugly, and scary. But king gives us a unique image, “His face was long and pale. His black hair was combed tight against his skull and parted with rigorous care on the left side of his narrow head. He was very tall. He was wearing a black three-piece-suit, and I knew right away that he was not a human being…,” (King 829). The reason King creates the devil in this way is because this young boy has a fear of the devil since the death of his brother. The use of words that King uses is also interesting.

The way King describes him gives you this image of a creepy looking man, it kind of scares you in a way. King gives the devil black hair which is another color besides red that we associate with hell or evil. The devil is very tall in this description. King uses height to intimidate the reader and make the devil scarier because people are automatically intimidated by tall people. King also uses the word “skull” instead of head in order to give you this visual image of the devil. Skull is a creepier and more detailed word than head is. By using a creepier word it gives the reader a scarier image in their head making the man seem more like a devil rather than a freaky looking human being. King makes the reader feel for the boy and feel his fear of the devil.

Readers may wonder how does the boy know it’s the devil? King writes, “…His eyes were the orangey red of flames in a woodstove. I don’t mean just the irises, because he had no irises, and no pupils, and certainly no whites. His eyes were completely orange- an orange that shifted and flickered.” (King 829). With this description, King gives us a clue that this man is in fact the devil. King gives him these eyes that resemble fire which is associated with hell. Another image that he gives the reader is when he uses the word “woodstove” which is also very hot and can be associated with hell.

The way King describes the devil’s eyes gives the reader the image of hell. King gives the reader a detailed description of the devil’s eyes and by saying he has no white in his eyes whatsoever it shows that he has no pure or good bone in the devil’s body. Because we associate the color white with purity and good. The eye image is also used in movies to show that a character is not human or has non-human like qualities. For example, in the movie The Covenant some high school boys have inhuman powers and when they use them their eyes become completely black with no white or anything. After seeing the devil so human-like, excluding the flaming eyes, the boy is scared for life and scared of encountering the devil again. He is afraid next time they meet that he will take his life just like he took his brother’s.

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